PRAYER ALERT: On August 8 Donald Trump was slated to be a keynote speaker at the RedState gathering in Atlanta. The other GOP presidential candidates were speaking at the event. But the night before, the event’s host Erick Erickson had Trump disinvited. Erickson cited Trump’s crude remark made on CNN about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. Kelly was a moderator at the August 6 GOP presidential debate. She questioned Trump about previous crude remarks he had made about women. Later on CNN he berated Kelly. Trump said that when Kelly asked the question, she “had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
He drew an instant storm of criticism. Trump had implied that Kelly’s attitude was “hormone related”, as Erickson put it. Erickson called Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, to clarify the remark. Lewandowski asked him to put his concern in writing. Erickson did. Lewandowski called back explaining that Trump said “wherever” (or “whatever” as Trump later claimed) to move beyond the question.
Erickson could not accept that explanation. He usually likes harsh political rhetoric. He has used it often himself. “I do personally like Donald Trump,” he said. But Trump’s remark “is a bridge too far for me… It is unfortunate to have to disinvite him.” He added, “I’m not going to have a guy on stage with my wife and daughter in the crowd who thinks a tough question from a woman is because of hormones.” So Erickson had Trump disinvited. He invited Megyn Kelly instead.
Characteristically, Trump treated Erickson as a new enemy. “This is just another example of weakness through being politically correct,” a Trump campaign spokesperson shot back. “For all of the people who were looking forward to Mr. Trump coming, we will miss you,” he said. “Blame Erick Erickson, your weak and pathetic leader.”
One of Trump’s top strategists, Roger Stone, left his campaign on the night the slur on Kelly was made. In his resignation letter Stone said that “provocative media fights have… overwhelmed your message. With this current direction of the candidacy, I no longer can remain involved in your campaign… I care about you as a friend and wish you well.” But a Trump spokesman said Stone was actually fired for using the campaign for his own publicity.
Fewer people are overlooking Trump’s penchant for trash talk this time. More people are demanding an apology to Kelly. Or at least or a retraction. Instead, the next morning Trump said that “whatever” meant Kelly’s nose, though many remain unconvinced. And Trump slammed his critics again. “Only a deviant would think anything else.”
Should we be concerned that a candidate for US President so quickly makes enemies—even out of friends and allies? And keeps attacking them?
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